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Making a proper will and keeping it updated





Making a proper will and keeping it updated

A will is a written document that allows a person to make decisions on how their property will be managed and distributed after death. Simple? Not so much.

A lot of consideration goes into drafting a proper will. A home-drawn will may seem like a cost and time-effective way to convey your wishes on paper, but it may lead to years of costly litigation and stress caused to your beneficiaries.

Here are five leading reasons to have a lawyer draft your will:

To avoid the consequences of passing away without a will or a valid will



a. Having a will doesn’t mean having a valid will. Passing away without a valid will calls for a lengthy and costly probate process, which impacts your estate and can, cause unnecessary stress to your beneficiaries. Consulting a lawyer may minimize potential infighting amongst family members regarding the validity of your will.

b. Without a will, the laws of Ontario will apply to your estate. Your property will be distributed according to the provisions of the applicable laws, which may not reflect your wishes and intentions.

To help you choose your executor wisely.


The executor is the person that will carry out the instructions in the will once you have passed away. The executor plays a fundamental role in wrapping up the estate of the deceased. Your solicitor should discuss with you who is best suited to name as your executor. Appointing the wrong executor can have detrimental effects on your estate.

To protect the beneficiaries of your estate.


What if a beneficiary of my estate is a minor? What if a beneficiary of my estate passes away before I do? What if a beneficiary of my estate receives government benefits such as ODSP? What if I want to exclude a member of the family from my estate? These are all questions you may have to consider when drafting your will. Your lawyer can help you properly plan the division and distribution of your property according to your situation and wishes.

To properly word the provisions of your will.

Courts are often asked to interpret wills for lack of clarity. Clear and proper wording will minimize the risk of lengthy and costly litigation.

To minimize the probate fee (“estate administration tax”).


A properly drafted will may allow you to minimize the probate fee. Some may want to consider holding assets jointly, establishing multiple wills or trusts, or gifting property to family members or charitable organizations to reduce the value of the estate and consequently reduce the probate fee. You should talk to your lawyer to find out more about ways to minimize probate fees.
Already have a will? It is important to review its contents every couple of years as your life circumstances can change. Changes such as births, deaths, adoption, marriage, second marriage, divorce, and financial situation may necessitate an update of your will. Discussing changes in circumstance with your lawyer will ensure that your intentions and wishes are carried out upon your death.
One will does not fit all. Call your lawyer today to make a will tailored to you.A will is a written document that allows a person to make decisions on how their property will be managed and distributed after death. Simple? Not so much.

A lot of consideration goes into drafting a proper will. A home-drawn will may seem like a cost and time-effective way to convey your wishes on paper, but it may lead to years of costly litigation and stress caused to your beneficiaries.

Here are five leading reasons to have a lawyer draft your will:

To avoid the consequences of passing away without a will or a valid will



a. Having a will doesn’t mean having a valid will. Passing away without a valid will calls for a lengthy and costly probate process, which impacts your estate and can, cause unnecessary stress to your beneficiaries. Consulting a lawyer may minimize potential infighting amongst family members regarding the validity of your will.

b. Without a will, the laws of Ontario will apply to your estate. Your property will be distributed according to the provisions of the applicable laws, which may not reflect your wishes and intentions.

To help you choose your executor wisely.



The executor is the person that will carry out the instructions in the will once you have passed away. The executor plays a fundamental role in wrapping up the estate of the deceased. Your solicitor should discuss with you who is best suited to name as your executor. Appointing the wrong executor can have detrimental effects on your estate.

To protect the beneficiaries of your estate.



What if a beneficiary of my estate is a minor? What if a beneficiary of my estate passes away before I do? What if a beneficiary of my estate receives government benefits such as ODSP? What if I want to exclude a member of the family from my estate? These are all questions you may have to consider when drafting your will. Your lawyer can help you properly plan the division and distribution of your property according to your situation and wishes.

To properly word the provisions of your will.



Courts are often asked to interpret wills for lack of clarity. Clear and proper wording will minimize the risk of lengthy and costly litigation.

To minimize the probate fee (“estate administration tax”).



A properly drafted will may allow you to minimize the probate fee. Some may want to consider holding assets jointly, establishing multiple wills or trusts, or gifting property to family members or charitable organizations to reduce the value of the estate and consequently reduce the probate fee. You should talk to your lawyer to find out more about ways to minimize probate fees.
Already have a will? It is important to review its contents every couple of years as your life circumstances can change. Changes such as births, deaths, adoption, marriage, second marriage, divorce, and financial situation may necessitate an update of your will. Discussing changes in circumstance with your lawyer will ensure that your intentions and wishes are carried out upon your death.

One will does not fit all. Call your lawyer today to make a will tailored to you.


by: Chanelle Dutrisac - Lawyer
posted on: August 15, 2019

http://www.sicotte.ca/news/article/74